Rosy Rosé for romantics
Rosé wines are bestsellers, especially in the month of St Valentine, writes Graham Howe
THESE delightful wines come in every shade from bright pink to cherry red, coral to onion skin, salmon to coppery blush. The colours of rosé wines are a delight to the eye — and find sex appeal in a wine world traditionally divided into red and white. Made in still, sparkling and blanc de noir (white from black) styles from Shiraz and Sangiovese to Pinotage and Pinot Noir, rosé wines are versatile ranging from playful picnic wines to serious wines which make great food matches. Think pink and try these new releases:
Buitenverwachting de Noir 2011.
A perennial crowd-pleaser, this blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot grapes grown on the estate in the Constantia Wine Valley is a quintessential picnic wine with aromatic peach and strawberry flavours and lingering spicy finish. Fabulous with Mediterranean fare.
Domaine Grier Rosé 2010.
This wine is part of an exciting range made in the south of France from vineyards owned by the Grier family of Villiera in Stellenbosch. Made from Grenache and Carignan to ensure fresh fruit it has a delicate kiss of pink, onion skin hues, hints of red berries and a delightful minerality with a fresh, light finish.
Kleine Zalze Gamay Noir Rosé 2011.
One of my favourite Cape rosé wines is made from a traditional Beaujolais cultivar grown in old vineyards in Wellington. A romantic pink coral hue opens up into a dry wine with good acidity, delightful straw- berry and cherry nuances on the nose and the palate with soft, juicy tannins.
Kloovenburg White from Red Brut 2011.
Made from Shiraz, the signature grape of this old family farm in the Swartland, this sparkling Blanc de Noir has romantic pink salmon hues, a frothy mousse and ripe cherry and candyfloss character leading to a crisp dry finale.
Also try the Shiraz Rosé 2011,
a still wine with antipasti and tapas.
Lindsay’s Whimsy Shiraz Rosé 2010.
I enjoyed a recent tasting of the superb Slaley wines with Lindsay Hunting, one of the owners this renowned family cellar in the premium Simonsberg area. His eponymous wine shows typically spicy Shiraz character in a charming wine enriched by creamy vanilla tones from ten months on lees.
Morgenster Rosé 2011.
Made from Sangiovese, the great Tuscan grape of Chianti, the bright pink promise of vibrant fresh fruit is fulfilled in enticing aromas of pomegranate and watermelon. Hints of sweet cinnamon spice and fresh berries in a luscious rosé wine which sings of summer as evocatively as the great opera singer.
Pierre Jourdan Cuvée Belle Rose MCC N/V.
One of six Méthode Cap Classique wines from the cellar of Haute Cabrière in the Franschhoek Wine Valley is simply made for romancing. Made from Pinot Noir, this “beautiful rose” is salmon-pink with a fine mousse, elegant savoury flavours and a dry, clean finish to match rich shellfish.
Rhebokskloof Viognier/shiraz 2011.
This maiden dry blend from an eighteenth century farm on the granite slopes of Paarl Rock has a seductively pale blush with alluring peach and apricot blossom aromas. Made mostly from Viognier with fleshy flavours and floral notes, it has an intriguing spicy twist from a splash of Shiraz.
Simonsig Pinot Noir MCC Brut Rosé 2010.
This limited release sparkling wine under a Woolworths label is made without the addition of sulphur. It has a delicate onion skin hue, ample fresh fruit intensity and a fine mousse leading to a mouthful of savoury, earthy red berry flavours and a crisp, refreshing, dry finish. Great with sushi.
Villiera Tradition MCC Brut Rosé N/V.
One of six MCC wines from the Grier family farm in Stellenbosch, one of the pioneers of bottle-fermented sparkling wines in the Cape. This unique blend of Pinotage, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir has a coppery pink hue and cascading bubbles — a rich, elegant mouthful of savoury fruit.
Weltevrede Lindelize Brut MCC Rosé.
Poet winemaker Philip Jonker dedicates this romantic wine to his barefoot Karoo wife. He describes the gentle blush as “like the flush when touched by a beautiful emotion, the colour of delight, of someone in love”. Made from Pinot Noir, it tempts with delicate flavours of strawberries and cream.
Winters Drift Rosé 2010.
Made from Merlot grapes, this aromatic wine from the Molteno apple and wine farm in Elgin has a salmon pink colour to match Valentine’s Day with ripe flavours of cherries, plums and cranberries — and a clean, dry finish.